Profitable Ideas: Why You Have to Invest, Invisible Influence, and More

A weekly roundup of some of the more interesting and helpful personal finance articles I’ve read recently.

You have to invest (A Wealth of Common Sense). If you listen to the fear-mongers, there’s always a reason ­not to invest. But with a proper, long-term perspective, “now” is pretty much always a good time to invest.

Why an extended warranty is often a waste of your cash (CNBC). You may have coverage already through your credit card.

The narrow, short-sighted finance concept that has taken over society (The Atlantic). As a wise person once said, “A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”

Know before you owe mountains of student loan debt (Consumerist). Way too many students—and even some parents—don’t know enough about what they’re signing up for when they borrow to pay for school.

Letter to my younger self (The Players’ Tribune). A former pro athlete on the lessons he learned from a hard financial fall. While you and I may not be able to relate to the life he once led, his main lesson is applicable to all of us.

Should you rent or buy a home? (Sound Mind Investing). There are lots of variables to consider, but here’s a framework for figuring out whether buying or renting makes the most financial sense.

8 costly mortgage misunderstandings (USA TODAY). Some good advice here, and remember to keep your monthly payment lower than what most lenders will say you qualify for.

‘Invisible Influence’: What really shapes our decisions (Knowledge@Wharton). You already know that other people influence your behavior—financially and otherwise. What you probably don’t know is how much influence they have.

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